Tag Archives: motivation

Karma

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While we can’t always expect things will go right if we do well by others, I can suggest to you that as a leader, if you fail to do right by your subordinates or colleagues, if things don’t go badly now, once others realize your vulnerabilities, they will.

Finding Art in Unexpected Places

Firegeezer posted a very recent article that reminds us art, as in beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. While there are individuals out there who think that art is only art if it speaks equally to everyone who views it, there are those of us who see things differently and can see beauty and form even in leading others. It’s a matter of being open to what constitutes art.

Daily Values vs. Emergency Ops Values

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Like it or not, organizational values define organizational culture. These values help guide you in times when hard decisions must be made under ambiguous situations. When organizations lack defined values, or personnel don’t understand them as the gospel truth, they don’t always reflect those values when challenged.

Squirrel In The Middle of The Road

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Our job entails more than just responding to emergencies. It entails responding to community needs and assisting our neighbors. That assistance comes in many forms, but the agencies who get it will be survivors, and those who don’t, well, I think you can figure that out yourself. It’s not a matter of “if”, but “when”.

The Zen of Firehouse Zen

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I know I have said that I blog because I desire to share what I have learned, but it’s really more esoteric than that. I blog often because it helps me to think and to focus. By putting down in writing what I should be considering, it helps drive me positively in that direction.

Character vs. Characters

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Has the bar gotten so low that we’re willing to bring in anyone, so long as they can fog a mirror? I know staffing is tight right now, but if the personnel on my team can’t be trusted to do the right thing when no one is looking, what reason should I have to trust them when the going gets tough?

I Am A Firefighter Because…

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I am a firefighter because I literally grew up in a firehouse. My grandfather was a firefighter’s firefighter. His nickname was “Smokey”. He was the Chief Fire Marshal in Montgomery County, PA up until his death in 1981. My uncles and my father all became firefighters as a result of his influence; not just firefighters but leaders in their field. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be.

Get Everyone On Board

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If your small unit leaders aren’t on board with organizational vision, don’t count on the personnel they supervise joining in to resist them in carrying the desired vision out. It will be much easier on those troops if they can get along with their misdirected officer than if they embrace the change, so you can count on the message not getting through when it is most needed.

Focus on Success

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While God gives you talent, your mentor can teach you how to use it, but it is up to you to have the positive attitude to propel it forward. Focus on commitment and excellence by looking at what matters NOW.

Capitalize on Your Strengths

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When we put together teams, the act of doing so in order to develop effective teams requires some thought as to what is needed by the organization, but to fail to consider the small team dynamics and assume everything is going to go swimmingly, is simply nonsense.

Almost Good Enough

What does it mean to be “good enough”? Is being good enough sufficient to meet the needs of our customers? Is it good enough to meet safety requirements? Is being “good enough” good enough to keep civilians from being killed, much less firefighters?

Values

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If your organization doesn’t have agreed-upon values, it’s a good time to get your people together and discuss some. Value statements provide direction to those who have to make a watershed decision at some point with little guidance otherwise.

Prove Yourself

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Don’t waste your time thinking that opportunity is going to come find you. The chief of department, when he has a sexy project, isn’t going to come hunting you down unless he is familiar with your track record. If you want those good assignments, you are going to have to sniff out and handle some unpopular ones first.

Get Your Facts Straight

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What facts may seem to be in evidence right now may not always be accurate, thus the need for continual re-evaluation of your situation. Even though something appears to be true right now, it might not be in a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days.

Trust Is The Mortar

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Trust is the mortar, the bond between power and responsibility. Without empowerment, people are unable to act on their vision. Give someone power and they are free to create all kinds of possibilities.

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